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Recode Daily: Samsung’s new flagship phone looks just like its old flagship phone

Plus, Trump authorizes his unpopular tariffs and accepts an invitation from Kim Jong-un, Universal Basic Income moves toward the mainstream, and Robert Mueller, style icon.

A Samsung Galaxy S9 phone held in two hands in landscape mode, showing a multicolored heart on the screen Joan Cros / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Samsung’s new flagship phones, the Galaxy S9 and S9+, arrive in stores next Friday, March 16; here’s a roundup of reviews. General consensus: It’s not an iPhone X killer. If you’ve seen last year’s Galaxy S8, you’ve seen the $719.99 S9. The Bixby voice assistant is still a dud; Samsung focused its efforts on small, mostly unseen changes that result in a better overall experience. Both phones have curved glass screens; the company packed the new phone with a bunch of gimmicky features — face-scanning, aperture-switching, Super Slow Motion and AR Emoji — so there’s something to show on commercials. [Dan Siefert / The Verge]

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In a dramatic day at the White House, President Trump authorized stiff and sweeping new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, ignoring opposition from his own political party and protests from overseas. He reportedly sought to soften the impact on the U.S.’s closest allies with a more flexible plan than originally envisioned. Also yesterday, Trump accepted an invitation from North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, to meet for negotiations about the country’s nuclear program; no sitting American president has ever met with a North Korean leader. [Peter Baker and Ana Swanson / The New York Times]

In another high-profile executive departure at Uber, product head Daniel Graf is leaving the company; his replacement is Amazon’s top voice shopping VP, Assaf Ronen. Israeli entrepreneur Ronen is a big get, having done stints at Microsoft and Amazon, where he was VP of voice and natural user interface shopping. It’s not clear where Graf, who previously held top product jobs at Google and Twitter, will be going. [Kara Swisher / Recode]

A group of venture capital firms are making their sexual harassment policies public for the first time, as part of a new initiative called MovingForward. The venture capital industry has been rocked over the last year by allegations of sexual misconduct that forced several powerful men out of their funds. Most VC funds do not have human resources departments, and even if they have an internal policy that defines and punishes harassment, it generally has only applied internally to their firm — not to the entrepreneurs that they interview and fund. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

Many Silicon Valley tech leaders support Universal Basic Income, a policy that has been lauded by Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and others as a proposed solution to job loss due to automation. The basic idea is that all citizens should receive a certain amount of money from the government, with no regulations on spending attached. It officially became part of California’s Democratic Party platform earlier this week signaling that the idea is moving from fringe to the political mainstream. [Shirin Ghaffary / Recode]

Disney has signed “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau to write and produce a live-action “Star Wars” television series for its upcoming streaming service. It’s part of Disney’s ambitious effort to join the Netflix-driven streaming boom. Other series in the works for the Disney-branded service include a “Monsters, Inc.” spinoff and a new “High School Musical” chapter. And former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are in advanced negotiations with Netflix to produce a series of shows that would be available only on the streaming service. [Brooks Barnes / The New York Times]


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Recode is live from South By Southwest this weekend. Get all the tech and media news from Austin, Texas, right here, including how-to-watch livestreams of Kara Swisher’s interviews with Michelin-starred chef José Andrés and psychotherapist Esther Perel, and Peter Kafka’s interview with Hollywood producer Jason Blum (“Paranormal Activity,” “Get Out”).


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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.